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MAMUN AND niii IMAM KI/A.

CHAPTER L

THE   GOLDEN   AGE   OK   ISLAM
It was a dynasty abounding- in good qualities, richly endowed with generous
attributes, wherein the wares of Science found u ready «;tl<s the mm'hawH«e
of Culture was in great demand, the observances of" Religion wvrt* respected,
charitable bequests flowed freely . . . and the frontier* were bravely
AL-PAKHRI, on the Abbasid Dynasty.
The Splendour of  Haroun-al-RtishU, A.H.
(786-809).-
Adowu the Tigris 1 was bornct
By Bagdat's shrines of fretted gold,
High-walled gardens green and old ;
True Mussulman was I and sworn,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alrasehid.
These lines from Tennyson indicate both the
magnificence of the golden age of Islam and its close
association with Haroun, the Solomon of the Abbasid
dynasty. Bold and of active habit, the great Caliph took
part in the campaigns waged against the Byzantine
Empire, and during his reign Moslem fleets fought
successfully in the Mediterranean, Everywhere Islam
was in the ascendant*
It is of much interest to note that Charlemagne
despatched an embassy to Haroun, composed of two
Christians and a Jew, the latter presumably the interpreter*
who sought for easier access to the Holy Sepulchre and
wished to foster trade with the Caliphate, The return
gifts from Haroun included an elephant* the first to be
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